The Philadelphia 76ers are dead serious in boosting its roster for the next season of the NBA. Rumors are swirling that they target acquiring the services of Harrison Barnes from the Golden State Warriors via free agency.
The 24-year-old small forward from Ames, Iowa is a restricted free agent, meaning he could listen to offers from other teams but the Warriors will have the right to match the said offer within three days to keep him with the team. Barnes has a cap hit of $9.68 million and the 76ers know that the Warriors will let go of him as they are much focus on getting Kevin Durant.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Marc J. Spears, the Warriors are also prioritizing Barnes if the Durant pursuit does not go their way. They noted that sources are confirming that if the Durant plan does not work, the Warriors are looking at re-signing Barnes and the possibility of shopping for other big men to fill in the defense inside the paint.
However, the 76ers are willing to give Barnes a maximum deal which might prove difficult for the Warriors to match. Sources are telling the Philly.com that if the Warriors will be able to sign Durant then Barnes will have to look for other teams, such as the 76ers, for that lucrative offer that he is looking for. It also reported that the 76ers are very much willing overspend this summer just to be able to land a player that would lead the franchise not only for next season but for the future as well.
The Warriors will have to put on their think cap as they assess the situation. They might have a shot at signing Durant but that remains to be seen as other teams are also in the pursuit of the Thunder superstar. That puts Barnes in one of the scenarios wherein the Warriors and the 76ers will be in a tug-of-war.
Barnes was the seventh overall pick selected by the Warriors during the 2012 NBA Draft. In his stint with the Warriors, this season Barnes has averaged 11.7 points, 1.8 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game. During the grueling NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, wherein the Warriors failed to end their campaign with a bang, Barnes averaged only 9.4 points, 1.4 assists and 5.0 rebounds coming off the bench.
The 76ers, on the other hand, are very aggressive this summer as they have been preparing their cap space in the recent seasons. Now, the 76ers are trying to slowly lay down their cards in a bid to boost their franchise for a possible postseason run and Barnes is part of the plan.